I was given Pandanus veitchii plant as a gift. Can I grow this plant sucessfully at work under flourescent lights or should I bring this plant home. Any information you can provide would be extremely helpful.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with you inquiry. Pandanus tectorius, commonly called screw pine, is an erect, multi-branched, palm-like, tropical tree. Its common name is somewhat misleading: its name comes from it’s leaves’ slight resemblance to those of a pineapple. The leaves have rows of sharp, hooked spines running up the sides that can be nasty to the touch. P. tectorius ‘Veitchii’ sometimes called Pandanus veitchii is a variegated cultivar that features spiny, pale green leaves with striking white margins.
This tough, long- lived plant adapts well to life in homes and offices, however, consider placing it in a corner so people don’t prick themselves on its sharp leaves. This plant can live for up to fifteen years, and as it ages the plant will send out aerial roots which are used to stabilize the plants in wind in their native habitat. These aerial roots can be buried upon repotting.
P. tectorius ‘Veitchii’ prefers bright light, ideally at least 3 hours of direct sunlight a day and high humidity. Without enough light the plant will lose much of its interesting variegation. This plant will tolerate high temperatures and enjoys spending summer outdoors in partial shade. Make sure to water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Fertilize biweekly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer (making sure to follow dilution directions on the package) during the spring and summer. During the dormant season in winter, you only really need to feed it about once a month.
You may be interested in our Gardening Guide entitled: Beginners Guide to Growing Houseplants for more general information.
Here’s to continue enjoyment of this lovely tropical plant.